With the changing expectations and demands on emergency ambulance services, taking medical treatment to patients is a challenge St John in the Bailiwick of Guernsey has to face. Being the only emergency ambulance service on Guernsey, we have a vital role to play in addressing these challenges and ensuring all of our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time. Our mission statement is clear:-
“We will provide a high standard of care when taking medical treatment to the community we serve”.
The St John Emergency Ambulance Service responds to over 5,000 emergency calls each year including calls to the neighbouring smaller Channel Islands.
Care and medical treatment is delivered by a small staff of Registered Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Care Assistants, all qualified to United Kingdom NHS standards.
The St John Emergency Ambulance Service, in Guernsey, responds to 999 calls and requests for immediate response by clinicians. All ambulance vehicles are dispatched through the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC) .
Ambulances are equipped to NHS standards with a variety of medical equipment including oxygen, suction, spinal immobilisation, analgesia, other life-saving drugs, cardiac monitoring and defibrillators.
The fleet of ambulance and vehicles, some of which are multi-functional, comprise of:-
Rapid response cars
4×4 rescue response vehicles
- Command vehicle
- PTS vehicles, including a bariatric capability
Community First Responders
The challenge of delivering Basic Life Support (BLS) and defibrillation to patients suffering from a life-threatening condition in the first few minutes has brought about many changes in the ‘out of hospital’ care environment. The evidence is clear; a patient who suffers a cardiac arrest stands a much better chance of survival if a fully trained person with a defibrillator can attend the patient in the first minutes of collapse.
The following sequence of events has become known as the “Chain of Survival”
- Early Access (to activate the emergency services)
- Early Basic Life Support (CPR)
- Early Defibrillation
- Early Advanced Care (paramedic intervention)
We are jointly working to provide the second link in the chain in the form of good CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation), by delivering Basic Life Support training to the community through the St John Training Services Centre.
Community First Responders (CFRs) provide the third link in the chain of survival, offering early defibrillation and other life-saving intervention. Research has shown that if a cardiac arrest victim is defibrillated immediately their chances of survival are 85%. These odds decrease by 10% with every minute that passes without treatment.
A CFR is a volunteer, equipped with a defibrillator and first response kit, who makes themselves available to be to respond to a potentially life-threatening emergency in their vicinity. They are trained as a minimum in Basic Life Support and the use of a defibrillator. First Responders are alerted by the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC) at the same time as an emergency ambulance, but because they only respond to incidents nearby they can often get to the patient first. There will be no delay in dispatching the ambulance.
A Community First Responder will be dispatched to a “Priority One” emergency calls which are:
- Cardiac arrest
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe bleeding